It. Snowed. Again. And my hope of seeing the sun today was almost non-existent given the gray, cloud covered sky. I longed for a glimpse of the sun to brighten my spirits this morning. And I vaguely remember Ephesians 3:20 rustling through my brain. It went something like this… Remember, Heather, that God can do immeasurably more. And while I knew sunshine was possible, I wasn’t confident it would appear.
And then, God did immeasurably more. After lunch, I looked out the window and discovered that the sky transformed from gray to blue with fluffy clouds… and the sun was shining brightly! I soaked in the sun while playing cards with my boys on this snow day. I thanked God for the sunshine. And I’m praising Him right now for the reminder to choose hope… to trust Him… to wait patiently for Him… for He truly is able to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine.
Maybe your life feels like a gray, snowy day with little hope of sunshine breaking through it all. Today’s Romans reading reminds us to not just have a little hope, but to have confident hope. Read Romans 15.
Here are some questions for you to consider:
- Read Romans 15:1-4.
- Read Romans 15:4.
- What is one purpose of Scripture according to Romans 15:4?
- What do the Scriptures give us? Why do you think the Scriptures are described this way?
- We are encouraged to wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled. Explain what it means to wait patiently.
- Read these verses and describe what you learn about waiting patiently. Psalm 27:13-14, Psalm 37:5-7, Psalm 40:1-3, Romans 8:24-26, James 5:7-8
- Do you wait patiently for the Lord? Why or why not?
- If you struggle with waiting patiently on the Lord, pick one of these scriptures to memorize. (Psalm 27:13-14, Psalm 37:5-7, Psalm 40:1-3, Romans 8:24-26, James 5:7-8). Meditate on the benefits that come from waiting patiently on the Lord. Ask God to help you wait patiently on Him. (Remember, the Bible tells us that we do not have because we do not ask.)
- Read Romans 15:5-6.
- Who gives us patience and encouragement?
- How does patience and encouragement help us live in harmony with each other?
- Why is it important to live in harmony as followers of Christ? (After you answer, check out this for more insight.)
- Read Romans 15:7-13.
- What do we learn about the character of God in Romans 15:8?
- Read Romans 15:9-12. What is the tone of these verses? (Hint: one word is repeated four times in these verses.)
- The words “praise the Lord” appear in 196 verses in the NLT Bible. Read these verses and list reasons to praise the Lord. Genesis 24:27, Exodus 15:2, 1 Samuel 2:1, 1 Kings 8:56, Psalm 135:3, Ephesians 1:3-4, and 1 Peter 1:3-4
- Now it’s your turn to put Psalm 9:1 into practice: I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. Take a moment and praise your Heavenly Father for 3- 5 marvelous things He has done in your life.
- Read Romans 15:13.
- Summarize this verse in your own words.
- The Greek word for hope is elpis (Strong’s 1680). It means looking forward to something with confident expectation… In the New Testament, it often refers to the ultimate , eternal hope grounded in God and His saving activity1.
- Read the following translations of Romans 15:13.
May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope. AMP
May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace in your faith, that by the power of the Holy Spirit, your whole life and outlook may be radiant with hope. PHILLIPS
Our hope comes from God. May He fill you with joy and peace because of your trust in Him. May your hope grow stronger by the power of the Holy Spirit. NLV
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. NLT
- Which is your favorite translation? Why?
- According to Romans 15:13…
- Who is the source of hope?
- What happens when we trust in God?
- How do we overflow with hope?
- Are you hopeful or hopeless right now? Explain the reason for your hope or hopelessness.
- If you’re feeling hopeless, take a moment and pray this verse back to God, asking Him to fill you completely with joy and peace as you trust in Him so you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Read Romans 15:14-19.
- Read Romans 15:20-33.
- Review Romans 15:25-27.
- Why did the believers take up an offering? (Romans 15:27)
- We have received spiritual blessings too. How can you give back to God? It could be through serving, encouraging, giving financially, or another way that the Holy Spirit brings to mind. Commit to giving back to the Lord in some way this week. And then give cheerfully as the believers did in Romans.
- Review Romans 15:25-27.
If you’re struggling with hope, let your Father God know. Be open and honest with Him. Know that He loves you and wants you to experience the joy and peace that comes from trusting Him. Maybe you don’t feel like you can be yourself with God. If that’s the case, let I Can Just Be Me by Laura Story inspire you to be yourself and let God be God. You are His treasured possession, holy and dearly loved. Let these truths settle in your heart today.
1 NLT Study Bible. (2004). Elpis (1680) hope (p. 2223). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.